Hibiscus Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Kefir Whipped Cream

There are few things more quintessential of summer than strawberry rhubarb pie. It’s a summer signature for a reason—the combination of sweet strawberry with sour rhubarb make it irresistible to nearly everyone.

Make it even more impressive with the addition of hibiscus tea. Hibiscus possesses a gently tart, almost cranberry-esque flavor, making it an ideal pairing with this classic combination. We also love that it’s nestled inside a bed of buttery crust and topped with kefir-based cream. Say hello to your next seasonal staple. 


INGREDIENTS

Filling:
4 cups finely diced rhubarb (make sure to select rhubarb that is deeply red in color)
1 pound strawberries, trimmed and finely diced (about 4 cups)
2 tbsp dried hibiscus flower petals
1/4 cup honey
2 cups water
Generous pinch of kosher salt
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Pie Crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces) Lifeway Cultured Kefir Butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup ice water

Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream (32-36% butterfat)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Lifeway Organic Whole-Milk Kefir

INSTRUCTIONS

For the filling:  In a deep heat-proof bowl, mix the rhubarb and strawberries. In a large saucepan, combine the hibiscus, honey, water, and kosher salt and bring the mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour it over the strawberries and rhubarb. Allow the fruit to steep until it cools.

Once cooled, drain the strawberries and rhubarb into a sieve to catch the liquid. Return the fruit to its original bowl. Transfer the steeping liquid to a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook to reduce to a syrup, or 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool. Once it has cooled, fold it back into the strawberries and rhubarb, then add the sherry vinegar, mint, and basil. Mix and let stand.

For the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 425. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it is just incorporated and sandy. Slowly add the ice water into the bowl and mix quickly until the dough is just barely incorporated, then let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes at room temperature. Using a roller, hit the middle of the ball of dough once, then turn it 90 degrees and hit it again—you will see a cross in the middle of the dough. Begin to roll out the dough, turning it 90 degrees each time until it is about ¼ inch thick. Fold the dough in half, then in half again. Place the corner of the folded dough into the center of standard 9-inch pie pan and unfold, working the dough into the shape of the pan. Let is rest in the refrigerator, uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Place a piece of parchment paper into the pie shell and fill it with pie weights, uncooked rice, or dried beans. Place the pie shell in the center of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and the weights and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool on a rack.

For the topping: In the chilled bowl of a mixer, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the kefir.

To plate: Fill the pie shell with the fruit and syrup mixture, then top it with the whipped cream mixture.

Step saver: Use store-bought pie crust to save time. Or skip the pie crust all together and enjoy the filling and the topping all on their own.

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